The African Energy Ministers Conference, Road to Durban: Promoting Sustainable Energy Access in Africa, that took place in Johannesburg on September 15-16, 2011, recognized the potential of low-cost household energy solutions, such as solar LED lighting, in advancing its access for energy agenda.
Lighting Africa and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves organized a side event on household energy during the Ministerial conference, to present clean lighting and cooking solutions to energy policymakers from around Africa. Lighting Africa’s presentation highlighted the role that modern off-grid lighting technologies can play in helping African governments meet their ambitious energy access targets.
The side event, together with a Green Household Energy Solutions Expo sponsored by the World Bank, demonstrated that new technologies, opportunities for partnerships and climate financing make it possible to improve access to energy for low income households in Africa. At the Expo, local and international innovators showcased the new generation of off-grid lighting products and improved cooking technologies that directly address the household energy needs in Africa.
The event informed the final Johannesburg Declaration adopted by the Ministers, which acknowledges the contribution of low-cost technologies, such as LED lighting, and of clean cooking solutions to meeting the energy access challenge. The Declaration calls for developing markets for such products. The Declaration also places more emphasis on energy access in the climate change agenda.
The event was an opportunity to integrate household energy into broader discussions on energy and climate change strategies that are occurring as part of the COP17 Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa in December.